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Patch's Poll: Should New York City Ban Large Sugary Drinks?

The New York City Board of Health approves Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on soda and sugary drinks over 16 ounces. It will take effect in six months.

When New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed banning large sodas and other sugary drinks from city food carts, restaurants and movie theaters, an outcry erupted, and it wasn't only from the companies that make soda. It was also from those who believe that individuals should be responsible for the choices they make when it comes to a legal product.

Ultimately, the New York City Board of Health agreed with Bloomberg this week that public health concerns about obesity outweigh, so to speak, an individual's desire to consume a bucket of soda.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the policy will go into effect in six months unless a judge blocks it. The soft drink industry has vowed to continue its fight in the courts.

According to the New York Times, the policy will affect any sweetened drink in a container larger than 16 ounces, including non-diet soda, energy drinks and presweetened iced teas.

"The restrictions would not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected, but establishments with self-service drink fountains, like many fast-food restaurants, would not be allowed to stock cups larger than 16 ounces," the Times wrote.

Movies theaters and stadium concession stands would be affected, but grocery stores and convenience stores — including 7-Elevens, which sell the Big Gulp — would be exempt, along with vending machines and some newsstands.

Where do you stand on the issue? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.

Jack R. September 15, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Sad to say, we've seen the results of personal responsibility. If only healthier foods and beverages had the same marketing power as junk food we'd be able to see a better selection. I cringe when I see a teenager walking around with 1 or 2-liter bottle of soda. It is almost as if we need someone to save us from ourselves because many don't have the will power. The nanny society is coming.
toni from w hart September 16, 2012 at 02:37 PM
it's up to the consumer to be educated enough to make a purchase without the nanny-state there to hold our hand through life, is none of the elected officials business what i drink or eat--this is an extension of the long arm of an obama-controlled society
Kelly P September 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Sure. Let's have the average McDonalds customer "be responsible" for understanding the metabolism of sugars by the body and the implications over a lifetime. That would be the same customer who only education opportunity is the public schools that the fear-mongers (Toni and nanny-state fear mongers) don't want to fund. Stupid begets stupider. And when those large human beings (American's are on average the fattest humans who have ever lived on the planet) have the consequent health problems, what then? The same people who think modest efforts at portion control go too far are going to pay the increased health care cost we all pay will pay to treat the health consequences of, among other things, bad diets. No one is stopping anyone from buying a 2nd drink if they want. But the marketing of gargantuan sugar drinks doesn't do anyone any good. And all that is supported by the Republican mayor of NYC. Stop pretending this is really a national political Orwellian control system. We have whole aisles of grocery stores dedicated to pet food. We're not in any danger of having our choices of what to consume reduced - we're discouraging irresponsible marketing in respect of supersized everything.
Andrew Ziemba September 16, 2012 at 08:05 PM
And yet NYC sells alcohol, and cigarettes... Why not ban them? Well gee, how else would we fund big government? Har har har. You liberals really crack me up! ANYWAY, this is worse for the environment. Anyone who wanted a supersized drink will now just get TWO cups, TWO lids, TWO straws, and probably will have to get one of those cardboard carafe's as well to carry their TWO drinks to equal the same size drink that they wanted. Why aren't 30 packs of beer illegal? We aren't cartons of cigarettes illegal? What about VODKA or RUM? Hahahahaha wow...
Michael Mercier September 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I like the ban on mugging, and the ban on murder, and the ban on fraud. But Andrew Z is right on! Why ban just large cokes? Are large cokes worse than a six pack of beer?? Cigarettes?? Jack Daniels?? (no offense to Jack, I like a little once in a while) But this is nothing than a "look how great we are" law. Why doesnt New York ban toll booths? You know how dangerous those are? I have 40 years left in this life if I am lucky (I know healthy too) You know how long 40 years is?? It will be just like tomorrow 39 years from now. I am going to enjoy my cheeseburg and very large Coke for dinner tonight!

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